History of China and Taiwan
History of China unveils that the imperial rule of the Qing Dynasty that continued from 1644 -1912 finally came to an end after the formation of a constitutional republic named the Republic of China. After its formations, the new republic faced many trials and tribulations. However, in 1928 the republic was unified under Kuomintang (KMT) – Chinese Nationalist party. Under KMT much of industrialization and modernization work began to start until the conflicts rose among KMT and newly formed Communist Party of China (Founded 1921). Nation-building work also stopped Vis a Vis Sino –Japanese war from 1937-1945.
A series of political, economic and military missteps led to the KMT’s defeat and its retreat to Taiwan in 1949, where it established an authoritarian one-party state rule. This state considered itself to be the continuing sole legitimate ruler of all of China, referring to the communist government or “regime” as illegitimate. Considering these views by Taiwan, “People’s Republic of China” declared in Beijing (Peking) by Mao Zedong in 1949, continued to call itself “mainland China”, “Communist China, or “Red China”.
The relationship between Taiwan and Mainland China Since 1949
Since 1949, both Taiwan’s government (The Republic of China) and Mainland China (The People’s Republic of China) have claimed themselves as legitimate and only China. Both governments were backed and supported by various countries. The United States, NATO, and most western nations considered the exiled Taiwanese government as real China. Meanwhile, the Soviet bloc and a few other countries recognized the new communist government as legitimate. However, in 1979, The United States switched allegiances from the old Chinese government to the new communist government in order to gain influence against the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, China then reached out to Taiwan with 3 links attempts to normalize relations. The three links were
In return, Taiwan implemented its foreign policy saying No Contact, No Compromise, and No Negotiation but by 1987 Taiwan began allowing its residents to visit Mainland China and more nations developed institutions to deal with government relations. In 1992, two governments came to a consensus acknowledging that there is only one China and each believed themselves to be it.
The opposition to this consensus has been the movement to make Taiwan an independent country with its own separate national identity. Another solution, one country two systems would establish Taiwan as one of China’s autonomous regions like Hong Kong or Macau. However, in 2005 the mainland Chinese passed a law to prevent Taiwan from seceding authorizing nonpeaceful means to unify Taiwan back into mainland China. Since many groups in Taiwan want to establish independence, this law could cause a military showdown between two countries that is something Taiwan eager to avoid.
Since then a 2014 meeting between officials from both countries marked the first direct government contact since 1949 split. From this meeting and several other high profile negotiations, both countries have attempted to increase their economic, trade, healthcare and travel relations. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) views Taiwan as its province, while Taiwan—a territory with its own democratically elected government that is home to twenty-three million people has differing views on the island’s status and relations with the mainland.
Despite the sovereignty dispute, the economic ties between the island and the mainland have thrived in recent years. Yet political frictions still shadow the relationship. Based on the history of China and Taiwan, it is now believed that both have experienced a renewal in tensions under new leadership and the two countries still seem far from reconciliation due to their complicated nature of the dispute.
Comparison: Taiwan VS China
History of China and Taiwan may show the same roots, however, there are many things that make them different from each other like :
Mainland China is as big as the United States whereas Taiwan is equal to 1/3 of Tennessee, which makes Mainland China 267 times bigger than Taiwan.
New Taiwanese Dollar is the currency of Taiwan. The Renminbi is the official currency of the People’s Republic of China. The Yuan is the basic unit of the Renminbi, however, Yuan is also used to represent the currency of Mainland China
Mainland China’s population is approx. 1.38 billion whereas Taiwan’s population is similar to Shanghai. Mainland China population is 59 times greater than that of Taiwan
Gross Domestic Product
Mainland China’s GDP is 20 times higher than in Taiwan. However, per Capita GDP of Taiwan is 3 Times bigger than that of Mainland China.
Both the Chinese Communist Party & KMT borrowed party-building principles from the Soviet Union in the 1920s. They both follow 3 principals of People and abide by Marxist-Leninist theories. Moreover, no organized opposition to party leadership is allowed in both countries.